Almost all urban commuters face different issues when they are riding their bikes in the city streets. However, there are three problems that all of them are facing, including being able to cycle long and fast enough, and can store and transport their bicycles from here to another place easily.
In fact, Tern Bicycles soon recognized these problems, struggles and took the life-changing step of so many commuting riders and other cyclists. And all you need to remove those three weak points of urban riding is an electric folding bicycle, like the ones that Tern is offering.
Tern’s electric bikes are not only practical, lightweight, and equipped with lots of innovative technologies. But they are also built with excellent cargo capability that can make you forget that you even have a car in the matter of short and medium-distance trips.
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Table of Contents
- Overview of Tern Bike Company
- Tern Bike Categories
- Most Popular Tern Bikes
- Tern Bike Price Range
- Are Tern Bikes Any Good?
- Tern Vs. Brompton
- Tern Electric Bikes
- Tern Non-Electric Bikes
Overview of Tern Bike Company
As you might know, Tern Bicycle is one of a few brands with a great vision of a more sustainable future. In particular, the company targets producing ergonomic folding electric bikes that can be replaced for cars. In general, Tern Bicycles provides you with everything you will need to get to work less by car and more by bike.
History of Tern Bike Company
Tern Bicycles was founded in 2011 by Joshua Hon and Florence Shen. Even though it is a young bike brand, it is very successful in the Taiwan bicycle industry. For those who don’t know, the two founders of Tern Bicycles are the wife and son of David T. Hon, the owner and founder of Dahon, a famous folding bike giant.
Unlike other bike brands, Tern Bicycles is completely focused on the production of electric folding bikes that can change the way people ride on a daily basis. Their bikes are particularly designed to be easy to transport and store. In addition, they can carry lots of loads and have an electronic power steering system that makes cycling more comfortable.
The brand’s name, logo, and even bicycles are inspired by the Arctic tern, a small and light bird that is the holder of the record for the longest immigration. And these are all the features, characteristics that Tern Bicycles describes for its bikes. Other than that, the logo is, in fact, the origami of the bird mentioned above, accentuating Tern’s folding nature.
Nowadays, the brand has different offices in the United Kingdom, United States, Finland, and China, but its headquarters is in Taipei, Taiwan. Even though the company’s main products are electric bikes, it also manufactures non-electric folding bicycles and other premium riding accessories.
Tern Bicycles’ commitment to creating and developing a more sustainable future goes beyond simply advertising electric bikes instead of cars. It even moves forward and reduces its own impacts by significantly decreasing packaging and the use of destructive chemicals, such as chromium.
So, if you really care about your well-being, health, and the environment, Tern Bicycles are really a great choice.
Where Are Tern Bikes Made?
All of the Tern bicycles are designed, manufactured, and assembled in Taipei, Taiwan. That is also where the brand’s headquarters are based. Nevertheless, the company also has different offices located in different countries, including the United States, Finland, the United Kingdom, and China. These offices help Tern Bicycles support cyclists across the globe.
The Technologies of Tern GSD Bikes
All current Tern GSD bikes are powered by the finest Bosch Cargo Line engines, delivering up to 85 Nm of torque for a comfortable, smooth, natural-feeling riding experience. What’s more, they can support up to 400% power to handle serious hills. So, get started with Bosch’s unrivaled expertise and service, and you can be sure that your GSD bike will last for many years to come, thanks to its safe and reliable motor system.
Powered by dual-battery technology from Bosch, the Tern GSD bike is wired from the start to accommodate double batteries. This means that you can get a second battery if you know that you really need it without worrying about rewiring your bicycle. Instead, simply plug it in, and you are ready to go.
Another innovative feature integrated into the GSD models is the high-end internally bg-ray-700ed hub with fast electronic switching. What’s more, the brand equipped these bikes with advanced shifting-sensing technology for smoother transitions. It will automatically downshift when you stop, which is ideal for the type of stop-and-go traffic in the city.
Performance of Tern GSD Bikes
If you have heard about the Tern GSD, you might know that it has always been incredibly strong. However, the company has made it even more powerful for a better ride. The extra sturdiness will stop side-to-side movement, even under heavy loads.
The GSD bicycle has a maximum total vehicle weight of 200 kg. In addition, the rear rack can carry a maximum of 100 kg. No matter if you carry an adult passenger, a load of groceries in two weeks, or stuff for a big craft project, the Tern GSD can carry it all.
Furthermore, Tern has updated the frame geometry, making the GSD models much more comfortable for riders of all sizes. The higher handlebars and comfy, and dropper seat tube angle create a more upright sitting posture and a better-fit cockpit. Additionally, its design now allows the rider to reach the ground at different stops more easily.
The company has also crafted a unique suspension fork to offer more control and comfort while allowing the rider to handle the GSD’s 200 kg Mgvw safely.
You can also change the angle and height of the handlebars easily and quickly; no tools are needed, thanks to the special Andros Stem. This will create a comfortable riding position, no matter how tall or short you are.
Tern Bike Categories
While tern Bicycles is major in producing electric folding bikes, its product line also includes a wide option of non-electric folding bicycles as well.
One of the main reasons making Tern bikes special is that the company offers three different types of folding bikes:
- Standard Folding
- Ultra-Compact Folding
Several models, such as the GSD series, let the rider fold the handlebar and release the seat. This design might make their bikes more company, but not really small enough in some cases. On the contrary, bikes such as BYB and eVektron can be folded to be far smaller. Hence, they are more simple to store and carry anywhere.
More than that, Tern electric bikes are equipped with lots of unique properties, such as internal gearing, vertical parking, telescopic seat post, double battery technology, belt drive, and many more.
In addition, these bicycles are relatively compact because most bikes roll on 20-inch or 24-inch wheels. However, the brand also offers some models that have wider wheels, like 26-inch wheels.
When it comes to planned use, Tern divides its bicycles into four ranges:
- Carrying Cargo
- Carrying Kids
What’s more, you can get bikes typically designed to carry one or two children; or models with a pair of single/double panniers in case you are not a parent.
Most Popular Tern Bikes
Tern offers a wide array of bikes for all cycling styles, including electric bikes, city, touring, town, and urban bicycles. Therefore, you can easily pick a model based on your needs, such as portability/mobility, speed, cargo transport, and electric assistance.
For example, models with large 27.5-inch or 700c wheels will be a perfect option for people needing a little bit of added speed. On the other hand, you might want to opt for bikes with smaller 24-inch or 20-inch wheels if your requirement is portability.
Below is the list of several common Tern bikes that you can refer to, and pick a model that fits your specific needs:
- Electric Bikes: Tern Vektron S10
- Non-Electric Bikes: Tern Verge X11
Tern Bike Price Range
In terms of price, it could be easily seen that Tern bicycles are more expensive than almost all other folding electric bikes. This is because the brand only produces premium bikes with high-end components and parts and durable materials.
In addition, their bikes are equipped with groundbreaking technologies, including high-capacity (double) batteries, powerful Bosch and Bafand drive units, and integrated with smart solutions to your daily riding issues that you will not find anywhere else.
- Electric Bikes: $4,490 -$7,486
- Non-Electric Bikes: $831 – $3,743
Are Tern Bikes Any Good?
Tern bicycles are considered among the most high-end models because of their premium level of components and smart folding solutions. They are really the ultimate cargo folding electric bikes for everyday rides and covering long distances. When it comes to quality, Tern bikes are above average compared to other normal folding bicycle brands available.
Tern Vs. Brompton
Brompton Bike Review
If you live in urban, crowded areas, I assume that you might want to get a bike that combines the features of folding bikes with public transportation. So, if it is true, the Brompton bicycles are what you will need. Their bikes are not only lightweight but also very compact, depending on the accessories, powertrain, and gearboxes you pick.
Besides, Brompton bikes are relatively light, ranging from 20 lbs to 28 lbs (9 kg to 13 kg) each, based on the bike type and configuration.
In other words, if you buy a single-speed model without a rack, sport handlebars, mudguards, your Brompton bike will weigh about 20 lbs. This weight makes it easier to carry upstairs and also compact and small enough to store anywhere else. In general, Brompton bicycles are equipped with all useful properties when you are riding a bus or subway full of people.
The foldable design is another amazing thing about Brompton bikes. Unlike other folding bicycles using magnets, like Tern Bicycles, Brompton models don’t come apart. Even when you are shaking your Brompton vigorously, it will stay folded tidily.
In addition, you will not need to worry if the chain grease is sticking to yourself or other pedestrians when riding on the city streets. It is simply thanks to the smart way of folding that Brompton bikes have that keeps your clothes clean while riding or carrying it.
Tern Bike Review
However, if you don’t need to combine your riding with public transport frequently, and plan to ride your bike more, then Tern bikes will be a better choice.
When it comes to long-distance ride quality, both Tern and Brompton bikes share the same qualifications. Unlike Brompton’s small wheels, Tern manufactures bicycles with wider tires and larger wheels. Therefore, you will find it much more comfortable when riding a Tern bike on rough surfaces.
Furthermore, most Tern bikes are equipped with multi-speed gear set from famous brands, such as Shimano, with a trigger shifter that lots of cyclists are familiar with. In fact, these are far simpler and more convenient to use than the combined inner/outer gear set used in some 6-speed Brompton bikes.
When it comes to weight, most Tern bikes are also more lightweight than Brompton models. For example, the average weight of a Tern bike is around 26.7 lbs (12.1 kg), including a rear rack, mudguards. Besides, the integrated Schwalbe Big Apple tires are a great addition that makes your daily commuting more comfortable. What’s more, these tires are considered very fast, puncture-resistant, and squishy, which saves you more than $100 without upgrading better tires.
In fact, I am a huge fan of the alternable handlebars, which the Brompton bikes don’t have. However, Tern bikes allow you to adjust the handlebars so that they can fit your riding style.
Generally speaking, Brompton bikes seem to be a better choice for those who are looking for a folding bike that is lightweight, compact, and rolls well on its wheel size. But, it would be best to opt for the 2-speed version.
At the same time, if you want a bike that comes in a modern appearance and rides exceptionally well, Tern bikes will be the best option. These bikes are already equipped with mudguards and a rack while still being foldable when you get on public transportation.
In terms of long-distance rides, Tern bikes tend to be a bit better than Brompton ones. This might be because of their larger wheels that roll more comfortably on rough roads.
Tern Electric Bikes
Tern’s electric bikes are considered the leading machines that are equipped with high-end electronics from Bafang or Bosch. Almost all its bicycles are Class 1 or Class 3 models that offer incredible pedal support from 20mph to 28mph, respectively.
The interesting thing here is that the brand doesn’t install throttles on its bicycles. Therefore, you can only use power assist when pedaling.
However, the most powerful thing that draws most riders to Tern Bicycles in relation to electronics is the cutting-edge Dual-Battery Technology. That is to say, the GSD electric models can offer a range of up to 155 miles thanks to the dual full-size batteries. That’s probably the best range you can get from any other electric bike available on the market.
Tern Bicycles is currently offering three lineups of high quality electric bikes in total as follows:
Among the three models, the GSD is considered the most capable one. It is built with the widest cargo area, largest weight load and also provides the rider with the most range. On the other hand, the Vektron and HSD come in a more compact design. Therefore, these bikes tend to be more practical for cyclists who want to get an all-around city bike.
Of course, with such great benefits, the GSD bicycles are also the most expensive among the three models. However, if you have a tight budget, the Vektron and HSD can also do the job.
For those who want to carry heavy loads, ride faster and further, and do it without sacrificing practicality and fashion, then the Tern GSD models are just what you are looking for.
Even though these bikes share the same length as other standard bikes, they are sophisticatedly designed with more advanced features. They are constructed out of lightweight, sturdy aluminum frames. In addition, the brand equipped them with a big cargo area, and most models are also integrated with custom suspension forks.
The GSD model has a maximum weight load of 220 kg (440 lbs), including the cargo and the cyclists. That is really more than enough to carry two people or a very large load on the rear.
On top of that, you will get power assistance of up to 20mph, thanks to the innovative Bosch Cargo Line Motor. What’s more, you can also give a massive range of 155 miles because of the advanced double-battery system. The only drawback is that most models are not equipped with the extra battery pack.
The Tern HSD models are less expensive, smaller, but not inferior to the GSD series. These cargo bicycles come in compact construction and are integrated with advanced technologies and an innovative FlatFold design. These features make it much easier to store and transport.
Firstly, the HSD series are built with heavy-duty aluminum frames, suitable for racers between 4’11’’ and 6’5’’ tall. In addition, they are integrated with short-travel suspension forks that can remove vibrations and shocks. Therefore, these models are also great for riding on unpaved roads.
What’s more, all of the HSD models are equipped with a rear rack, mudguards, as well as rear and front lights for night cycling. Although the rear rack comes in a smaller size than the one on the GSD models and can only fit one kid seat, it still shares the same maximum weight load, 220 kg (440 lbs).
It is a fact that Tern electric folding bicycles are more expensive than most other similar models on the market. However, you can still get a Tern model at an affordable price with any bike of the Vektron series.
Besides the lower price tag, these Vektron bikes are also a perfect option for those who want a really small bike that can be folded. These bicycles are constructed out of a mid-range folding design. So when it is folded, the size is far smaller than the HSD and GSD models.
More importantly, Vektron bikes’ electronic components are also as capable as those of other high-priced bikes. Nevertheless, they are equipped with some lower-end parts, such as brakes and derailleurs. This makes their prices much more affordable, but they still work perfectly for most cyclists.
Tern Non-Electric Bikes
When it comes to transporting goods by bicycle, nothing seems to be better than having an electric motor and battery to support you.
Nevertheless, not all riders really need to haul that much stuff. They also don’t feel that they actually need a push as the slope increases. So, in this case, an electric cargo bicycle might be too much. On the other hand, you might want to consider Tern non-electric folding bicycles instead.
At the time of writing this overview, Tern is offering five non-electric folding bikes in total:
Just like its electric bikes, Tern also provides the market with a wide selection of non-electric folding bike lineup. Therefore, you can pick from models with a conventional powertrain or an internal transmission in combination with a belt drive.
What’s more, you can have a choice of other bikes with various folding solutions, depending on how small and compact you want your Tern bike to fold for storage and transportation.
While lots of models are equipped with sturdy rear racks, these bicycles are not built for carrying as many loads as the electric types.
Alternatively, Tern non-electric bikes are best suitable for everyday commuting, recreational riding, taking your children to school, or any other leisures and errands you may have on the urban streets.
If you are looking for a small and compact folding bike, the Tern BYB models will be your best choice. It is considered one of the smallest conventional 20-inch folding bicycles available out there. It is 30% smaller than any other 20-inch folding model on the market. Interestingly, it is equipped with a unique folding system, allowing it to fit comfortably even in very tight spaces.
Best of all, it features a Metro Transit Rack with integrated spinner wheels. Therefore, you don’t even need to carry it once folded as you can completely pull it like a suitcase. In addition, it takes only seconds to fold the bike. What a simple and fast folding process!
Generally speaking, the Tern BYB series are high-end foldable bikes that are as small as possible. These models are perfect for those who usually combine a variety of commutes or don’t have much storage room at home.
When talking about commuting bikes, it is impossible not to mention the Verge bikes. In fact, these models are considered super commuters, which are typically manufactured to be fast, lightweight, practical, and compact. According to Tern Bicycles, these bikes are “adjusted for speed”, which is easy to agree with when you take a closer look at their specifications and features.
With the light aluminum frames and sturdy forks, Verge bicycles are a perfect blend for city rides. Almost all models are equipped with minimal accessories. However, some also come with mudguards, lights, and rear racks, making them much more practical.
In the matter of the gears, you can pick between a conventional drivetrain and an internal drive transmission with belt drives and sealed parts and components.
So, if you want a bicycle that is simple, compact, foldable, convenient to carry around, and can go relatively fast, buy this model. And it will make your everyday commuters much better.
As many of you know, folding bicycles are notoriously slow owing to their upright geometry and small wheels. However, the Tern Eclipse bike is the exact opposite.
These models are completely foldable bikes with sporty geometry and fast, large 26-inch wheels. Thus, they will let you go to your destination more quickly. At the same time, they offer easy transportation and storage.
In a nutshell, the Tern Eclipse bicycles are considered some of the fastest folding bikes for commuters you have ever seen. What’s more, they are a perfect solution for taller cyclists who may find smaller wheels restricting while riding.
In general, each Tern bicycle is unique and designed to serve a clear purpose. These models are very few folding electric bikes (if any) on the market that are better, typically in terms of innovative technologies and practical solutions they bring.
Tern has turned freight transportation and urban riding into an art form, which is full of quirky, surprising, and incredible features. The only weak point of those bikes is that you might need to pay a lot more. But, in return, you will get tons of practical value out of each bike and enjoy riding it for many years to come.